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​Edinburgh rents soar by 40 per cent in seven years

Friday 13 October 2017

Landlords in Edinburgh have seen rents soar by up to 40 per cent in the past seven years, the Edinburgh Evening News has reported. 

Although prices varied across the city, rent increases in all postcodes were well above inflation for the period - and appear to have accelerated since 2014.

Research showed that between 2010 and 2017, new rents for two-bedroom properties in Edinburgh rose by 39.8 per cent and three-bedrooms by 41.3 per cent while inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index was 15.6 per cent.

The EH3 postcode had the highest average rent for a two-bedroom property - and also the biggest percentage increase at 35.5, but even the lowest increase - in EH4 - was still 22.6 per cent.

Since 2010/11, private rents have increased by around 4.9 per cent year-on-year, with  more recent years seeing the higher growth.

Scotland's capital city also saw a 16 per cent increase in its private rented sector between 2001 and 2014 to make up 29 per cent of the housing market, while owner-occupied housing at 56 per cent has fallen by 13 per cent.

But while rent levels might be good news for landlords, it’s not so rosy a picture for Edinburgh’s tenants. In fact the research was commissioned by Edinburgh’s Green councillors, who claimed the findings reinforced the case for declaring the whole of the capital a Rent Pressure Zone (RPZ) which would cap future rent increases at inflation plus one per cent.

Nicky Lloyd, head of lettings at ESPC, said: “Edinburgh has seen rental increases. In the last year the figure was an annual growth of 5.2 per cent. Glasgow and Aberdeen were about the same. The figure for Scotland was 1.5 per cent. Demand is still far outstripping the supply of property and the number of people coming into the city is what is leading to the increase in rents.”

She said if an RPZ were to be introduced in Edinburgh it would be more appropriate in areas of the city where reducing private-sector rents could reduce the pressure on social housing and allow people to stay in their community.

Housing convener Councillor Gavin Barrie said: “To make Edinburgh liveable for people on core earnings it is very important rents are kept at a reasonable level.”

But he said an RTZ was not necessarily a solution because if landlords were prevented from putting rents up, they could go for short-term lets, where they would be able to raise rents between tenancies.

It’s a conundrum likely to be faced by more cities across the UK in the coming months and years. Watch this space for more news on how the situation in Edinburgh plays out… 

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